Our Featured Team of Creatives
Passion, drive, diversity, and vision. These are just some of the multifaceted qualities that the members of our contributor team share in common. Each one shares their unique voice and perspective. They dabble in a variety of mediums: visual and graphic arts, creative fiction, poetry, prose, memoir, filmmaking, dance, music, cultural critiques, and design. They each have a story to tell, and we hope you find some inspiration and motivation from their work to cultivate your own spark of creativity.
Karessa was born and raised in Sunnyside, Queens and graduated with her BA in Communications Research at the University at Albany (SUNY). Her areas of expertise include business management, creative & strategic marketing, and communication rhetorical & public advocacy.
Karessa is an avid admirer of art, music, aesthetic, minimalism, feminism, humanitarian work, and culture. Her journey is a long one, which includes plans to pursue a Master’s Degree. Karessa is a strong advocate in combatting domestic violence and many social injustices.
She loves anything crime and horror: from Henning Mankell books to The Conjuring Movies. Her all-time favorite shows to repeat are Big Bang Theory, Law & Order: SVU, and The Office. To escape from reality, she also plays the piano and violin. Karessa draws from her own perspectives on life and contemporaneous experiences to enlighten & inspire readers to discover their inner creative passions.
Dear Courage Columnist & Poetry Contributor
With a dynamic background in theatre and acting from Drew University, Milly Pinkos is also a passionate writer who crafts poetry, essays, and plays.
In her own words: “I’m a lil Jew from the country’s tiniest state, Rhode Island; I love small birds, Arrested Development, mozzarella sticks, the guy who plays Captain Hook on Once Upon a Time, The Little Prince, and the moon. I know a weird amount of useless pop culture trivia facts. Like, a really weird amount. I’m obsessed with my dog, Sassafras. But most of all, I love to connect with people through writing. My style of writing (and of dress) is casual. I like to have a sort of chill conversation with whoever reads my work. We’re all pals here, no need for any rigid formality. Happy to be here, and happy you’re here too.”
Film & Television Critic
Jasmine Kabera immigrated with her family to the United States when she was six years old. She was primarily raised in Denver, Colorado but has also lived in Boston, Massachusetts and Denton, Texas.
After graduating with Bachelors of Arts in Journalism from Colorado State University, she decided to expand her understanding of writing and creating media by pursuing her master’s degree at The New School in New York City.
Jasmine loves desserts, nerdy things, and art in all mediums. During her downtime, she works on various media projects, writes short stories, reads satirical mythology books, and watches Adventure Time.
Fiction & Poetry Contributor
Katalina is a California native currently living in Boston, MA. She graduated from Drew University with honors in English and an unofficial Performing Arts minor. In addition to writing, her passions include reading, music, theatre, sewing, knitting, and baking.
Currently working as a bookseller, Katalina’s goal is to be a published author within the next five years. With two novels in the works and many ideas backlogged, Katalina hopes to write stories that will validate those who feel their voices unheard. An avid fan of writers from James Joyce to Stephen Sondheim, Katalina strongly believes that art saves lives, and her goal is to help people help themselves through the power of creativity.
Fun fact: Katalina met Westley from The Princess Bride (Cary Elwes) when he wandered into her bookshop!
Cinthya graduated from Drew University and just started a new, exciting, and frightening chapter of her life by moving into the Big Apple with her best friend and some pennies in her wallet. Yes, this may sound like the set up for some crappy sitcom. Something like “Girls” meets “Broad City” while also wishing to be “Sex and the City.” And for all we know, maybe one day it will be. Cinthya is a Latina (Proud and Fabulous); she was born in Ecuador and immigrated to the U.S. when she was five years old, and raised in New Jersey. Cinthya has aspirations of being a successful artist one day, an actor/writer extraordinaire. Cinthya is in a long-term relationship, obsessed with makeup, reading, and trying to understand the world while trying to fix it one way or another. She is a Brown Girl, constantly in the search for her own identity.
Christine Lee is a born-and-bred New Yorker. She has a BA in Public Policy and Management from SUNY Albany and currently works as a 9-to-5er in Midtown, at the heart of New York City.
Christine has passionate opinions, but she is a great devil’s advocate on a variety of issues. To escape the frequent depressing messages of today, she seeks positive vibes through lunchtime walks, nature sceneries in Pinterest, and cleaning.
In her free time, Christine likes to watch documentaries, read several books at the same time, and trying out new wellness fads and beauty products.
Raised by two successful musicians, Aliyah grew up loving classical music, creating art, and helping others through her work. She graduated from Drew University in May of 2018 with her BA in Theatre Arts.
Since graduating and moving back to Michigan, she has become a waitress and has worked at local theatres as a house manager and sound designer, and has written and performed poetry in the Detroit and NYC area.
In her free time, Aliyah writes, goes to concerts, educates others, travels, hangs out with friends and family, and snuggles with her kitty, Silhouette.
Raven’s creative journey began with writing, which is her first passion. However, through higher education and hands-on experience, her skills have expanded through digital media, content creation, marketing, production, graphic design, and media management. Her love for these mediums began as a child in her hometown Detroit, Michigan and grew with her through adolescence and into her adulthood, which has been predominantly spent in the sweet heat of Atlanta, Georgia.
With a B.A. in Journalism, an M.A. in Media Studies, and a certificate in Media Management under her belt, she uses all of the tools and lessons that she has learned to approach storytelling from honest and innovative perspectives digitally and artistically.
Alizé Martinez is a current graduate student in a theater education program to become a high school theatre teacher. She graduated from Drew University and earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre Arts. She is from Long Island, NY but plans on working in the NY/NJ area. She loves animals (Specifically Dachshunds and Polar Bears), food (Specifically sushi, pizza, and poke bowls), ASMR, all kinds of music and she especially loves watching movies and shows on Netflix, Hulu, and HBO (She loves them all). She is passionate about self-care and mental health awareness. She is a proud Latina woman who is still in search of her identity.
Alex Shi is a multimedia producer, writer and subway warrior who’s currently conquering the Beijing subway system.
All that she sees may and will possibly be used in her stories, in forms of film, essay, or minimum two-hour long rant sessions.
Alex would like the world to know that you can find her @alexshiphotography on Instagram because she really does post some interesting, or interestingly boring visuals about things you may have missed in life.
Rowana Abbensetts is the founder and editor-in-chief of Spoken Black Girl Magazine.
She is a writer and a mental health advocate from Queens, NY.
In addition to running her online media company, which promotes mental health awareness and wellness resources for women of color, Rowana also writes short stories in her spare time.
Currently, she is working on her first novel, The New American Girl.
Now it’s your turn.
You have a dream: to craft, create, and publish your ideas.
So do we: to help you get the word out.
Check out our Submissions page for more details on how to become a contributor.
Feel free to reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.